Lectra is launching two new solutions for the mass production of fabric car seats and interiors: Vector Automotive iP6 and iP9. The company says that its newcomers combine breakthrough cutting equipment innovation with an optimized software application and specially designed consumables to enable automotive suppliers to achieve zero-buffer cutting on a wide variety of automotive materials.
Lectra’s R&D teams spent three developing the technology required for zero-buffer cutting. Improvements in hardware components, an updated equipment pilot with a powerful new algorithm, and a specially designed blade will enable automotive suppliers to achieve hundreds of thousands of dollars in material savings annually compared to other solutions available on the market, the company claims.
The Vector Automotive iP series was developed in direct response to the cost challenges faced by its automotive customers. Material consumption is the most significant expense in automotive car seat and interior manufacturing but Lectra believes that with Vector Automotive iP6 and iP9, suppliers will be able to achieve critical savings while minimizing the impact on their margins.
Constant, real-time control of the cutting equipment is integral to Vector Automotive iP6 and iP9’s precise cutting. Sensors on the cutting-head camera detect stress and instantly adapt cutting parameters. The new algorithm, an add-on to the equipment software pilot, manages common lines in real time to improve accuracy. Cutting parameters are continuously adjusted to the blade’s dimensions.
Lectra believes that, in addition to substantially reducing material consumption, automotive customers will also benefit from lower consumable replacement costs and increased available cutting time. Just as with materials, the new solutions enable an equivalent gain in paper and plastic films for each 1mm reduction in buffer. Improvements in the bristle block, sharpening band and blade lifespans reduce maintenance time by half, thereby drastically increasing machine availability.
“Lectra takes its commitment to being a trusted partner of the automotive industry very seriously,” said Céline Choussy, chief marketing and communications officer, Lectra. “Our ongoing research investments are key in enabling us to develop sophisticated solutions that respond to our customers’ challenges, support their continuous improvement initiatives and help them improve their operational excellence.”